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Windows Events

Events are typically used for troubleshooting application and driver software.

The new TraceLogging model allows you to include structured data with events, correlate events, and does not require a separate instrumentation manifest XML file.

The Windows Vista model uses an XML manifest to define the events that you want to publish. Events can be published to a channel or an ETW session. You can publish the events to the following types of channels: Admin, Operational, Analytic and Debug. If you use only ETW to enable the publisher, you do not need to specify channels in your manifest. For complete details on writing a manifest, see Writing an Instrumentation Manifest, and for information on channels, see Defining Channels.

To register your event publisher and to publish events, you use the ETW API. For details, see Providing Events and Developing a Provider. The event publisher will automatically write the events to the channels specified in the manifest if they are enabled.

If you want to control the events that an event publisher publishes at a finer level of granularity, use the ETW API. For example, if the manifest defines both write and read events, you can enable only the write events. An event can also specify a level value such as warning or error, so you can limit the events that are written to those that specify the error level. For details, see Controlling Event Tracing Sessions. The events are written to the session's log file.

Consuming events involves retrieving the events from an event channel, an event log file (.evtx or .evt files), a trace file (.etl files), or a real-time ETW session. To consume events from an ETW trace file or a real-time ETW session, use the trace data helper (TDH) functions in ETW to consume the events. You can also use TDH to read the event metadata. For details, see Consuming Events. To consume events from an event channel or an event log file, use the Windows Event Log functions to query or subscribe to events. For more information, see Querying for Events or Subscribing to Events.

Prior to Windows Vista, you must use Event Tracing for Windows or Event Logging to publish and consume events.